The submission of the eastern empire and episcopate to Pope Hormisdas, in 519, is a memorable incident in the history of the Church. A large and marked part in it was taken by the man who for thirty-eight years was to rule the eastern empire, to expel the Goths from Italy, thus recovering the original seat of Roman power, and the Vandals from Africa, and so once more attach the great southern provinces, for so many ages the granary of Rome and Italy itself, to the existing Byzantine realm. Before, however, this was done, when, after the death of Theodorick, the Gothic kingdom still subsisted under his grandson Athalarick and his daughter Amalasunta, the emperor Justinian addressed to Pope John II., in the year 533, a letter from which I quote as follows. I preface that this letter was carried to the Pope by two imperial legates, the bishops Hypatius and Demetrius. It begins:[115] "Rendering honour to the Apostolic See and to your Holiness, whom we ever have revered, and do revere, as is befitting a father, we hasten to bring to the knowledge of your Holiness everything which concerns the state of the churches. For the existing unity of your Apostolic See, and the present undisturbed state of God's holy churches, has always been a thing which we have earnestly sought to maintain. And so we lost no time in subjecting and uniting all bishops of the whole eastern region[116] to the See of your Holiness. We have now, therefore, held it necessary that the points mooted, though they are clear and beyond doubt, and have been ever firmly maintained and proclaimed by all bishops according to the teaching of your Apostolic See, should be brought to the knowledge of your Holiness. For we do not allow that anything concerning the state of the churches, clear and undoubted though it be, when once mooted, should not be made known to your Holiness, who is the head of all the holy churches. For, as we said, in all things we hasten to increase the honour and authority of your See." He then proceeds to recite a creed which carefully condemns the errors of Nestorius on the one side, and Eutyches on the other, and acknowledges "the holy and glorious Virgin Mary to be properly and truly Mother of God". At the beginning of this creed he introduces the words: "All bishops of the holy and apostolic Church, and the most reverend archimandrites of the sacred monasteries, following your Holiness, and maintaining that state and unity of God's holy churches which they have from the Apostolic See of your Holiness, changing no wit of that ecclesiastical state which has held and holds now, confess with one consent," &c. And he concludes with the words: "All bishops, therefore, following the doctrine of your Apostolic See, so believe, confess, and preach: for which we have hastened to bring this to the knowledge of your Holiness, by the bishops Hypatius and Demetrius; and we beg your fatherly affection, that by letters addressed to us, and to the bishop and patriarch, your brother, of this imperial city (since he on the same occasion wrote to your Holiness, being earnest in all things to follow the Apostolic See), you would make known to us that your Holiness receives all who make the above true confession. For so the love of all to you and the authority of your See will increase, and the unity of the holy churches with you will be preserved unbroken, when all bishops learn through you the sincere doctrine of your Holiness in what has been reported to you. But we beseech your Holiness to pray for us, and obtain for us the guardianship of God."

Pope John II. acknowledges this letter to "his most gracious son, Justinian Augustus". He highly celebrates the praises of "the most Christian prince," that "in your zeal for faith and charity, instructed in the Church's discipline, you preserve reverence to the See of Rome, and subject all things to it, and bring them to its unity, to the author of which, the first Apostle, the Lord's words were addressed, 'Feed My sheep': which both the rules of the Fathers and the statutes of emperors declare to be the head of all churches, and the reverential words of your Piety attest". The Pope adds: "Your imperial words, brought by the bishops Hypatius and Demetrius, which have been agreed to by our brethren and fellow-bishops, being agreeable to apostolic doctrine, we by our authority confirm". "This, then, is your true faith; this all Fathers of blessed memory and prelates of the Roman Church, whom in all things we follow, this the Apostolic See has to this time preached and maintained unshaken." "And we beseech our God and Saviour Jesus Christ to preserve you long and peacefully in this true religion and unity, and veneration of the Apostolic See, whose principate you, as most Christian and pious, preserve in all things."

In the same year, 533, in which Justinian addressed to the Pope this remarkable recognition of the Roman Primacy, specifying that everything which concerns the whole Church should be brought before the Pope, though it might be already certain and in accordance with established usage, he gave his approval to that collection of laws called in Latin the Digest and in Greek the Pandects, which he had commissioned Tribonian and other great lawyers to draw up. Seventeen commissioners, having power given to them to alter, omit, and correct, selected by his command, out of nearly two thousand volumes, what they considered serviceable in the imperial laws and the decisions of great lawyers. It is a vast repertory of judicial cases in which Roman lawyers seek to apply the general rules of law and natural equity. It was the first attempt since the Twelve Tables to construct an independent centre of right as a whole,[117] and it was confirmed by the authority of the emperor on the 16th December, 533.

As in the whole course of the fifth century, so no less in the sixth, it is necessary to bear in mind the close interweaving of political with ecclesiastical facts. The force and bearing of the one only become intelligible when the others are weighed. In 519, under Pope Hormisdas, the schism of Acacius had collapsed, and the most emphatic acknowledgment of all which the Popes had claimed in the contest with him, and with the emperors Zeno and Anastasius, who favoured him, had taken place. Pope Hormisdas had been succeeded in 523 by Pope John I. Compelled by the king Theodorick to undertake an embassy to the emperor Justin, received at Byzantium with the highest honour as first Bishop of the Church, being also the first Pope who had visited the eastern capital, and crowned with gifts for the churches at Rome, he returned only to die in the dungeon of the Arian prince at Ravenna, in 526. In three months Theodorick had followed to the tomb his three victims -- Symmachus, Boethius, and Pope John I. His death had well-nigh broken up the league of Teutonic Arian rulers against the Catholic faith, of which he had been the soul during the thirty-three years of his reign. Justinian had been taken by his uncle Justin as partner of his empire in April, 527, and crowned, together with his wife Theodora, on Easter Day. Four months later he succeeded his uncle in the sole power. At the death of Theodorick, the innate weakness of the Gothic kingdom in Italy, which had been veiled by the personal ability of the sovereign, came to full light. The utter incompatibility between the savage Goth and the cultured Roman showed itself in the rejection of the queen Amalasunta, in the depriving her of her son, and his subsequent corruption and premature death, its result. It was shown also in the retirement of Cassiodorus from the place of counsellor and minister of the Gothic king. Upon the death of Pope John I., in 526, Theodorick had exercised his power in urging the Romans to select Felix for pope. For this permanent injury had been inflicted upon the liberty of the papal election by the foreign occupation of Italy. It began under Odoacer in 483, when the temporal ruler, being a foreigner and an Arian, for the first time sought to mix himself with the election. Twenty years after, under Pope Symmachus, the attempt of Odoacer had been condemned. But what the Herule and the Gothic ruler, both Arians, had begun, the Byzantine emperor, when he recovered possession of Rome, carried on, and the original freedom of election was subjected to the control of the eastern emperor for hundreds of years.

Pope Felix sat until 530, and was then succeeded by Bonifacius II., the son of a Goth; not, however, without a temporary schism, occasioned by the attempt of King Athalarick to exert the arbitrary power used by his grandfather Theodorick in the election. Pope John II. followed in 532. In this Pope's time Cassiodorus was made Praetorian prefect by King Athalarick, and wrote to the Pope as a son to his father: "Be careful to remind me what I am to do. I wish to deal rightly, though I am blamed. A sheep which desires to hear the voice of his shepherd is not so easily led astray; and if he has one who warns continually at his side, can scarcely be criminal. I am, indeed, judge in the palace, but shall not therefore cease to be your disciple. For we execute this office well when we do not in the least depart from your injunctions. Since, then, I wish to be guided by your counsels and supported by your prayers, you must show your hand when there is anything in me otherwise than would be desired. That chair which is the wonder of the whole world should carefully protect its own, since, though it is given to the whole world, yet it admits in you a special local love."[118]

The Pope, to whom the Praetorian prefect of Athalarick, the temporal sovereign, addressed this language, is John II., to whom Justinian, from Byzantium, spoke as a son, and whose primacy he acknowledged in terms so ample, before he became, by the conquest of Belisarius, the temporal lord of Rome; the year, also, before he reconquered Northern Africa by the sword of the same great general.

Justinian, with not less precision than former emperors, acknowledged all his life long the primacy of the Roman See. We need not exclude political motives from this acknowledgment, but we must allow to him the fullest conviction as to its legitimate authority. If now and then, under the impulse of passion or despotic humour, he seemed to disregard its rights, he soon strove again to obtain the Pope's assent to his measures. In his edict to his own patriarch Epiphanius, he declared expressly that he held himself bound accurately to inform the Pope, as head of all bishops, concerning the circumstances of his realm, especially since the Roman Church by its decisions in faith had overthrown the heresies which arose in the East.[119] The imperial theologian was very unwilling to give up the initiative in the determination of ecclesiastical questions; nevertheless, he acknowledged in the Bishop of Old Rome the superior judge without whose confirmation his own steps remained devoid of force and effect.[120]

The man who was born an Illyrian peasant, who was the leading spirit during the nine years' reign of another Illyrian peasant, his uncle, who succeeded him in 527, and ruled the greatest kingdom of the earth during thirty-eight years; to whom the bitter Vandal in Africa and the nobler Goth in Italy yielded up their equally ill-gotten prey; who became the great legislator of the Roman world, by the commission given to his chief lawyers to select and, after correction, tabulate the laws of the emperors his predecessors; to whom, in consequence, the actual nations of Europe owe what was to them the fountain of universal right, demands a somewhat detailed account of his character, his purposes, and his actions. When the prince of the poets of Christendom, the only poet who has spoken in the name and with the voice of Christendom, meets his spirit under the guidance of Beatrice, the emperor utters words the truth of which all must feel:

"Caesar I was and am Justinian,
Moved by the will of that Prime Love I feel
I clear'd the encumbered laws from vain excess".[121]

It is in this character that Justinian lives for all history, and his name stands out among all Byzantine sovereigns with a lustre of its own. I have therefore first quoted the most definite words of the great legislator, spontaneously acknowledging the right of St. Peter's successor to know and to judge of all that concerns the Church's doctrine and practice. The acknowledgment of this right is the more to be marked because, when it was made by the eastern emperor, that successor was not his own subject. That he was the head of all the churches of the world, that he was so by descent from Peter, that in virtue of this headship and descent he had a right of supervision over everything which belonged to the Church in all the world -- this is what Justinian avows, and this, moreover, is equally what the Pope claimed then as he claims now.

Justinian ascended the eastern throne in August, 527, at about the age of forty-five. He would therefore have been born in 482. He was of somewhat more than middle height, of regular features, dark colour, of ample chest, serene and agreeable aspect. Through the care of his uncle he had had a good education, and had early learned to read and write. He was skilled in jurisprudence, architecture, music, and, moreover, in theology. His personal piety was remarkable. When he became emperor he bestowed all his private goods on churches, and ruled his house like a monastery. In Lent, his life approached that of a hermit in severity. He ate no bread; drank only water; for his nourishment he contented himself every other day with a portion of wild herbs, seasoned with salt and vinegar. We have sure testimony respecting his fasts and mortifications, since he has taken pains in his last laws, the Novels, to inform the world of them.[122]

His uncle Justin had died at the age of seventy-seven, after reigning nine years. His accession had marked a sort of resurrection in eastern affairs. Instead of three emperors, Basiliscus, Zeno, and Anastasius, alike ignominious in their government, unsound in their faith, infamous in their life, and remorselessly tyrannical in their treatment both of Church and State, Justin had crowned an honourable life as a general in the imperial service with a creditable reign, in which his fidelity to the Catholic faith was remarkable. The moment of Justinian's succession was coeval with great changes in the West. By the death of Theodorick, who in his last year had begun the work of active Arian persecution, the great kingdom which he had maintained for a generation seemed on the point of dissolution, through the intrinsic inaptitude for government which his Gothic subjects at once betrayed when let loose from the master's powerful hand. In Africa, moreover, a succession of cruel Vandal persecutors, almost equal to their original, Genseric, had shaken their tenure of the country. At the same time, the Frankish kingdom, strengthened greatly by the conversion of Clovis, was growing in power and extent -- a growth not interrupted by his early death in 511, at the age of forty-five.[123]

Such was the state of things when Justinian directed the great power which the revenues of the eastern empire enabled him to wield, towards the restoration of that empire, first in Africa, and then in Italy. Later in the same year, 533, in which he addressed to John II. the explicit acknowledgment of his supreme authority with which I began, he despatched his great general Belisarius with 16,000 chosen troops, 6000 of them cavalry, to Carthage. The Vandal ruler Gelimer offered but a feeble and utterly ineffectual resistance. He surrendered himself at Carthage to Belisarius, by the end of the year, and was brought to Constantinople. There Justinian received Belisarius in what was like one of Rome's hundred triumphs, except that the conqueror marched on foot. The booty of the Vandal kings was borne before him, in which were conspicuous the precious things which Genseric had carried away from Rome -- the vessels of the temple of Jerusalem. When the captive king was brought into the circus, and saw before him the emperor and countless rows of spectators, he is said to have shed no tears, but to have uttered the words of the preacher: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity". But his head did not fall under the axe of the lictors, as in the ancient Roman triumphs. He received in Dalmatia a great property, and lived there in abundance with his family. The other captives were enrolled in the Roman army, and Justinian and Theodora heaped presents upon the daughters of Hilderich, and all the descendants of that princess Eudocia, great-granddaughter of the great Theodosius, who had been obliged to espouse the son of Genseric in her captivity at Carthage.

Then Justinian divided North Africa into seven provinces -- Tingitana, Mauritanea, Numidia, Carthage, Byzacene, Tripolis, and Sardinia, which last, having belonged to the Vandals, was put into the prefecture of Africa. This received a Praetorian prefect and proconsular governors, who were charged to maintain the land, and show to the inhabitants the difference between civilised Roman government and Vandal cruelty. Justinian restored many cities, and erected many great buildings, especially churches, of which five in Leptis alone.[124]

An early result of Justinian's reconquest of Africa was that the bishops met in plenary council, under the presidency of the primate of Carthage, Reparatus, successor of Boniface. After a hundred years of Vandal oppression, 217 bishops assembled in the Basilica of Faustus, at Carthage, named Justiniana in honour of the emperor -- the church which Hunnerich had taken from the Catholics, in which many bodies of martyrs were buried. To their intercession the council ascribed their deliverance from persecution. After reading the Nicene decrees, they discussed the question whether Arian priests who had become Catholics should be received in their dignity or only to lay communion. All the members of the council inclined to the latter judgment. They, however, would come to no decision, but with one voice determined to consult Pope John II. They addressed a letter to him by the hands of two bishops and a deacon, in which they say: "We considered it agreeable to charity that no one should disclose our judgment until first the custom or determination of the Roman Church should be made known to us: honouring herein with due obedience the authority of your Blessedness, being such a Pontiff as the holy See of Peter deserved to have, worthy of veneration, full of affection, speaking the truth without falsehood, doing nothing with arrogance. Therefore the free charity of the whole brotherhood thought that your counsel should be asked. And we beg that your mind, the organ of the Holy Spirit,[125] may answer us kindly and truly."[126]

When the African deputies reached Rome, Pope John II. was already dead. But his successor Agapetus answered the questions of the council, attaching also the ancient canons which decided thereupon, to the effect that at whatever age a person had been infected by the Arian pestilence, if he became afterwards a Catholic he should not retain any rank, but that converted Arian priests might receive support from the Church fund. Pope Agapetus wrote expressing his intense joy at the recovery of their country: "For, since the Church is everywhere one body, your sorrow was our affliction. And we acknowledge your most sincere charity in that, as became wise and learned men, you did not forget the Apostolic Principate; but, in order to resolve that question, sought approach to that See to which the power of the keys is given".[127]

This council also sent an embassy to Justinian, beseeching him to restore the possessions and rights of the Church in Africa which the Vandals had taken away -- a request which the emperor granted in an edict to his Praetorian prefect Salomo. And Agapetus expressly restored to the primate of Carthage any rights as metropolitan which the enemy had taken away.[128]

Thus the terrible persecution inaugurated by Genseric when the Vandal host lay around the deathbed of St. Augustine at Hippo in 430 came to an end. In the interval, the African church had suffered every extremity of barbarian cruelty from the Arian invaders. At the end, the primate of Carthage, at the head of all the bishops of the several provinces, is found referring to the Pope, a subject of the Arian Theodatus, for guidance in the treatment of Arian priests and bishops who submitted to the Church. The Pope, on his side, acknowledges all the rights of the primate of Carthage which existed before the invasion. As to civil rights of property, the Byzantine conqueror restores the possessions of the Church which had been taken away by the Vandals.

By the restoration of the African province to the Roman empire and the Catholic faith Justinian won great renown. His accession had been welcomed with joy by the Catholic people. Full of great designs, he aimed at the extension of his realm, and endeavoured to advance the Christian cause by missions to countries as yet without the faith. Greatness and majesty are shown in all his creations.[129] In the year following the African reconquest Pope Agapetus wrote to him, praising his solicitude in maintaining the unity of the Church, and identifying the advance of his empire with the increase of religion.[130] The Pope adds that the emperor desired the profession of faith which he had sent to his predecessor Pope John II., and which had been confirmed by him, to be confirmed also by himself, for which "we praise you: we assent, not because we admit in laymen an authority to preach, but because, since the zeal of your faith is in accordance with the rules of our fathers, we confirm and give it force".

It is to be remembered that Pope Agapetus, elected in 535, was the subject of the Gothic king Theodatus, and as such was sent by him, under threats of death, in the winter of this year, on an embassy to Justinian. The purpose of Theodatus was to support his tottering throne by the intercession of the Pope. He had murdered at the lake of Bolsena the daughter and heiress of Theodorick, Amalasunta, who had made him king upon the untimely death of her son Athalarick in 534. He was secretly proposing to cede the Gothic kingdom of Italy to Justinian for a pension of 1200 pounds of gold. Thus Agapetus was sent to Constantinople in the winter of 535, as Pope John I. had been sent by Theodorick ten years before. He entered that city on the 20th February, 536; he died on the 22nd April following. In these two months the Pope, the subject of Theodatus, did great things. A certain Anthimus, a secret friend of the Monophysite heresy, had been brought, by the favour of the like-minded empress Theodora, from the see of Trebisond and put into that of Constantinople, having been able to impose himself upon the emperor as orthodox. Agapetus was received with the greatest honour, being only the second Pope who had visited Byzantium. He could not negotiate a peace for Theodatus; but archimandrites, priests, and monks besought him to proceed against Anthimus as an interloper and teacher of error. Agapetus refused his communion to the new patriarch, required of him a written confession of faith, and return to his bishopric, which he had deserted contrary to the canons. The emperor, believing in the orthodoxy of his patriarch, took part at first against the Pope, and strove to overcome him both with threats and with presents. But Justinian, undeceived as to the orthodoxy of Anthimus, gave him up, and Pope Agapetus pronounced judgment of deposition upon him, and on the 13th March, 536, consecrated Mennas, who had been duly elected, to be bishop of Constantinople. He first required of him a written confession "to carry to Rome, to St. Peter".[131]

Soon after this the Pope died suddenly. The whole population at Constantinople attended his funeral. Never, it was said, had the mourning for a bishop or an emperor drawn together such a concourse of people. His body was carried back to Rome in triumph and buried in St. Peter's.

Pope Agapetus was succeeded in 536 by Pope Silverius, chosen under the influence of the Gothic king Theodatus. He was the last Pope so chosen; and the moment of his election is coincident with events destined to change permanently the material condition both of Rome and Italy.

Justinian had accomplished, with singular ease and rapidity, the first half of his design. This was the reunion of North Africa to his empire, and the restoration in it of the Catholic faith. The second part of his design was to accomplish the same double result for Rome and for Italy. He sent Belisarius, after the victory at Carthage, into Sicily, where Syracuse and Palermo were taken; and in the summer of 536 the great commander entered Italy, captured Naples, and advanced towards Rome on the Appian Road. So the Gothic war began. Theodatus was in Rome. The Gothic army in the Pontine marshes became aware of his incompetence and his secret treating with Justinian, deposed him, and elected Vitiges to be their king in his stead, by whose orders the fugitive was slain in his flight on the Flaminian Road. But Vitiges hastened to Ravenna, where he espoused the unwilling Matasunta, daughter of Amalasuntha, granddaughter of Theodorick. Four thousand Goths alone remained to cover Rome. Belisarius appeared before it. A deputation, supported by Pope Silverius, brought him the keys of the city. The garrison was too weak to defend it, and on the 9th December, 536, Belisarius took possession of Rome, at the head of the imperial troops, who had nothing Roman in them except the name. It was sixty years since Odoacer had caused the senate to declare a western emperor needless, and Rome, as to temporal rule, had fallen, first under the Herule, then under the Goth. The Romans welcomed Belisarius as a deliverer from the double yoke of the northern intruder and the Arian heretic.

For however Theodorick recognised, after the fury of the conflict with his brother-Teuton, the Herule Odoacer, was over, the necessity of ruling with justice over Goth and Italian, however prosperous as to the maintenance of peace and internal order the great kingdom stretching from Illyricum to Southern Gaul had been, whatever support he had given to the maintenance of Roman law, custom, and institutions, there was not a Roman, from Symmachus and Boethius in the senate to the meanest inhabitant of Trastevere, who would not loathe the occupation of Rome and Italy by the Gothic invasion. The Goths were a people of remarkable courage and extraordinary force of body. But the feeling with which Italians and, above all, Romans would regard them as masters of their country and confiscators of its soil, can only be expressed by what the English would feel if a swarm of Zulus were to take possession of England. So, when Belisarius entered Rome, the Romans looked for their being replaced under the direct and lawful government of one who should be in deed and in truth a Roman prince, as Pope Felix had called the recreant Zeno, that is, the head of law, the supreme judge, the defender of the Church. This was what they looked for. I am about to mention what they found.

The empress Theodora had tried with all her wiles to set a Monophysite prelate on the Byzantine See.[132] Pope Agapetus had frustrated her plans by deposing Anthimus and consecrating Mennas in his place. But Theodora had not given up her intrigues, and she strove to involve in her net the Roman See itself. In the train of Agapetus at Constantinople was the ambitious deacon Vigilius. She sought to win him by promising him the Roman See. She offered him a great sum of money, and all her powerful support in attaining the papal dignity, if he would bind himself thereupon to abrogate the Council of Chalcedon, to enter into communion with Anthimus and Severus, and help them to recover the sees of Constantinople and Antioch. Vigilius agreed, and Theodora worked for the interests of her favourite by means of Antonina, wife of Belisarius. In the meantime, Silverius, as we have seen, had been chosen Pope in Rome, and Theodatus had exercised in his favour the influence which the Teuton rulers, whether styled Patricius or King, had claimed in the papal election since Odoacer. The empress invited the new Pope to come to Constantinople, or at least to restore her dear Anthimus. Silverius refused decidedly, though he was in the most dangerous position between the Greeks and the Ostrogoths, and even his personal liberty was in danger from Belisarius.

Pope Silverius continued to refuse submission to the wishes of the empress. The great commander sat in the Pincian palace in March, 537, scarcely three months after he had taken possession of Rome.[133] There he abased himself to carry out the commands of two shameless women, Theodora and Antonina. He caused Pope Silverius to be brought before him on a charge of writing treasonable letters to Vitiges. The Pope had taken refuge at Santa Sabina on the Aventine. When brought before Belisarius, he found him sitting at the feet of Antonina, who reclined on a couch. The attending clergy had been left behind the first and second curtains. The Pope and the deacon Vigilius entered alone. "Lord Pope Silverius," said Antonina, "what have we done to thee and the Romans that thou wouldst deliver us into the hands of the Goths?" While she was heaping reproaches upon him, John, a sub-deacon of the first region, entered, took the pallium from his shoulders, and led him into another room, where he was stript of his episcopal vestments, the dress of a monk was put upon him, and his deposition was announced to the clergy. He was then banished to Patara in Lycia. All these intrigues had been unknown to Justinian. Afterwards, the bishop[134] of Patara went to him, and invoked before the emperor the judgment of God, saying there were many kings in this world, but not one set over the Church of the whole world, as was that bishop who had been expelled from his see. Justinian, hearing this, ordered Silverius to be taken back to Rome, and a true judgment of his case to be made. But then the Pope fell entirely into the hands of his rival Vigilius, who in the meantime had, by the help of Belisarius, got possession of the pontificate. Vigilius caused him to be deported to the island of Palmaria. There it is only known that he died in great misery, but with the crown of martyrdom.

This was the first act of that dominion, lasting more than two hundred years, in which the Byzantine sovereigns were lords of Rome, as part of a reconquered province, and claimed to confirm the Papal elections, a claim set up by the Herule Odoacer, continued by Theodorick, inherited by Justinian.

When Belisarius occupied Rome he had only 5000 soldiers at his command. Vitiges, the new Gothic king, had gone to Ravenna, and made peace with the Franks by surrendering to them the southern provinces of France, held by Theodorick. He then levied the whole fighting force of the Goths, and, in March, 537, advanced from Umbria upon Rome at the head of 150,000 men. Belisarius, in the three months, had done his best to repair the walls, the towers, and the gates of the city. He had also laid up provisions. He dug trenches round the least defended spots, and had constructed great machines which shot bolts strong enough to nail an armoured man to a tree. Vitiges approached from the Anio, and made a desperate attempt to storm the city at once. Having failed in this, through the great courage and skill of Belisarius, and being unable, even with his vast host, to surround the city, he set up six fortified camps from the Flaminian Gate to that of Proeneste, and a seventh in the Neronian fields on the other side of the river, the plain which stretches from the Vatican to the Milvian bridge. The Goth cut off the fourteen aqueducts which supplied Rome with water. Those greatest monuments of imperial magnificence from that time have stretched their broken arches across the Campagna, the admiration and sorrow of every beholder in so many generations. What five hundred years of empire had done, the Goth, in his fury to recover the land which he had usurped, was able to ruin. The besiegers went on wasting the Campagna, and preventing the entrance of provisions into the city. Amid the increasing want, and the fear of worse, Vitiges in vain tried to seduce the Romans to revolt. Finding that Belisarius would not capitulate, he constructed great wooden towers, loftier than the walls, upon wheels, from which fifty men to each should direct battering-rams. Belisarius opposed him with like weapons. On the nineteenth day, the Goths poured out from their seven camps for a general storm. In a tremendous conflict, Belisarius beat back the invaders by counter sallies at the gates assailed. But at one point they all but succeeded. The Mausoleum of Hadrian formed part of the defence. Procopius, the eye-witness of this famous siege, and its narrator, says of it: "The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian lies outside the Aurelian Gate, a stone's-throw from the walls -- a work of marvellous splendour. For it consists of huge blocks of Parian marble, fastened to each other without jointing from inside. It has four equal sides, each of them in length a stone's-cast. Its height exceeds that of the city walls. Upon it stand wonderful statues of men and horses." This is all that Procopius says. Up to this moment, full four centuries after the death of Hadrian, all the glories of Grecian art, which that imperial traveller over the world, from Newcastle to the cataracts of the Nile, could collect, had shone through the Roman sky on the monument, splendid as a palace and strong as a castle. On this fatal day of Rome's direst need they were hurled down upon the advancing Goth, whom the narrow streets had enabled to approach with scaling ladders. Statues of emperors, gods, and heroes hailed upon the northern giants; the works of Polycletus and Praxiteles were used for common stones upon invaders who despised art as well as letters; and a thousand years afterwards, when the building was finally formed into a castle, in digging the trenches the fragments of the Sleeping Faun were found, which had crushed some inglorious barbarian and saved Rome from capture.

But the storming, repulsed at every gate, cost Vitiges the flower of his host. Thirty thousand are said to have fallen, that being the number which Procopius records as derived from Gothic officers themselves; and greater, he says, was the number of wounded, when the deadly bolts from the machines of Belisarius mowed down their encumbered masses in flight.

The result of this great conflict was to weaken the Goths, to encourage the Romans, to make Belisarius confident of success. The siege lasted after this nearly a year. The extremity of hunger and misery was endured in the city. The supply of water was reduced to the cisterns and springs and the river. Vitiges at length occupied Porto, and cut off Rome from the sea. But the Goths also suffered terribly both from famine and from summer heat. The end of all was that, after a siege of a year and nine days, in which the Goths had fought 69 battles, Vitiges, in March, 538, drew off his diminished troops. One morning, Belisarius, from his Pincian palace, saw one-half of the remaining Goths on the other side of the Milvian bridge, and he forthwith ordered a sally upon their rear-guard. Vitiges left perhaps the half of his great host mouldering in the wasted, pestilent, deserted Campagna. He left also a city impoverished in numbers, full of sickness and misery. He had destroyed all the villas and dwellings of the Campagna; the churches of the Martyrs lay in heaps of ruins: from the Porta Salara to the Porta Nomentana hardly one stone upon another seems to have remained. Also Vitiges had ordered the senators whom he had left at Ravenna to be put to death. Only, during this siege, the basilicas of Rome's patron saints, which lay outside the walls, received no damage and were respected by the Goths.[135]

After this the storm of war drew off to the North. It continued with changing fortune in the provinces of Tuscany, Aemilia, the plain of the Po, the coasts of the Hadriatic. On the one side Franks and Burgundians took part; on the other side the soldiers of Belisarius were made up of all races from the East: not without skill in fight, but without discipline, under rival and quarrelling commanders. They pressed grievously on the land which they were sent to deliver. But the Goths grew weaker: they never recovered their losses before Rome. At last Belisarius got hold of Ravenna -- not by capture, but after long negotiations, on both sides deceptive. Belisarius made the Goths believe that he would set himself at their head, and construct a new western empire. Vitiges, whether he trusted him or not, came to terms with him. Belisarius proclaimed Justinian emperor. The German realm seemed broken to pieces: only Verona, Pavia, and a portion of Liguria held out. A small part only of the army still carried the national banner. Then the conqueror, in 539, was recalled to Byzantium, to conduct the war against Persia. He left Italy almost subdued, and carried with him the captive king of the Goths, Vitiges, as in former years he had carried Gelimer, the captive king of the Vandals. This was in 539, thirteen years after Theodorick's death.

The first act of that fearful drama, the Gothic war, was over. But as soon as Belisarius disappeared, the Goths began to recover themselves. The generals of Justinian lived on plunder. In Totila arose a new Gothic leader, the bravest of the brave. At the end of the year 541 he marched out of Verona with only five thousand men, defeated the incapable and disunited Grecian captains, took city after city, passed the Apennines, passed near Rome, without assailing it. In this career of victory the Gothic king once approached that Campanian hill on which the great benefactor of the West, St. Benedict, was laying the foundations of the coenobitic life. In the first instance, Totila tried to deceive the Saint. He dressed up a high officer as king, and sent him, with three of his chief counts in attendance, to personate himself. When Benedict saw the Gothic train approaching he was seated, and as soon as they were within earshot, he cried out to the warrior pretending to be king: "Son, lay aside that dress which is not thine". The Goth fell to the ground in dismay, and returned to report his discomfiture to Totila, who then came himself. But when he saw Benedict seated at a distance he prostrated himself, and though Benedict thrice bade him arise, he continued prostrate. The Saint then came to him, raised him up, upbraided him with the acts which he had committed, and revealed to him the future concerning himself: "Many evils thou doest; many hast thou done. Put a curb at length on thine iniquity. Rome, indeed, thou shalt enter; the sea thou shalt pass. Nine years thou shalt reign; in the tenth thou shalt die."[136] The king was awe-struck. The savage in him was quelled by the speaker's sanctity. From this time forth he altered his conduct, and became more humane. In the capture of Naples shortly afterwards he showed by his merciful treatment the effect which the presence of St. Benedict had produced on him, as well as in the following years of his life. This interview took place in the year 542.

But Totila[137] so advanced in power that, in spite of Byzantine intrigue and jealousy, Belisarius, having happily concluded the Persian war, was sent back to the supreme command in Italy. He landed in Ravenna, but without army, war-material, or money. In the summer of 545, Totila, having subdued the land all about Rome, laid siege to Rome itself. Belisarius occupied Porto, and Totila set up his camp eight miles from Rome, commanding the Tiber, and turning the siege into the closest blockade. In vain Belisarius attempted to burst the Gothic bar of the river and introduce provisions to Rome. In vain embassies were sent to Constantinople for help. The most frightful distress ensued at Rome. At length, after about eighteen months, certain Isaurian soldiers of the Greek garrison gave up the Porta Asinaria, and on the night of the 17th December, 546, Totila took the ill-defended city. When he entered, it was almost without inhabitants. Those whom the sword, famine, and pestilence had not yet taken were in flight or hiding. Patricians crept about in the garb of slaves. The number of victims at this capture was small. The desolation and misery seem to have worked not only on Totila, but also on his army. The plunder, which a captured city could not escape, was generally bloodless; but many houses were burnt in the Trasteverine quarter. As Theodorick had offered his prayers at the tomb of the Apostles, so Totila went from the Lateran to St. Peter's. What a change had the forty-six years brought about. To the miserable remnant of the senate Totila upbraided the ingratitude which had been shown for Gothic benefits under Theodorick. He accepted, however, the intercession of the deacon Pelagius, and protected not only the female sex in general, but especially the noble Rusticiana, widow of Boethius and daughter of Symmachus. Amalasunta had restored their property to her sons, the younger Boethius and Symmachus; but the war seems to have consumed everything. She was now a beggar, and the wild host of Totila wished to put her to death for having, as she was charged, maimed statues of Theodorick. But the king rescued her from their fury.

In the first impulse of wrath Totila had threatened to level Rome with the ground. Belisarius, lying sick at Porto, had addressed to him a letter, entreating him to spare the greatest and noblest of cities. He did, however, throw down a considerable part of the walls, and when he marched to Lucania against the Greeks, took with him the chief citizens, and made the rest of the inhabitants migrate to Campania. He left a desert behind him. If we could trust the exaggerated reports of Greek historians, Rome remained forty days without inhabitants, tenanted only by beasts.

So ended the second act of the Gothic tragedy.

But as Vitiges had quitted Rome, so Totila deserted it, and in the spring of 547 it was entered again by Belisarius. In less than a month he restored as well as he could the part of the walls demolished, called back the inhabitants lingering in the neighbourhood, and prepared for a new attack. It was not long in coming. Scarcely had the gaps in the walls been filled up by stones piled in disorder and the trenches cleared, when the Gothic king reappeared. Thrice was his assault repulsed; then he gave up the attempt, broke down the bridges over the Anio behind him, and went to Tibur, which he took by treachery of the inhabitants, who were at strife with the Isaurian garrison. Totila massacred the citizens, the bishop, and the clergy; got possession of the upper course of the Tiber, and cut off the Romans from Tuscany. But then Belisarius was enabled to give greater care to repairing the city's defences. The state in which several gates remain to this day still show his hand. He restored Trajan's aqueduct, which fed the mills on the right bank. But in the winter of 547 the great captain was drawn away from Rome to carry on a miserable petty war with insufficient force in the south of Italy, and was finally recalled to Constantinople. So ended the third act of Rome's fall.

But Totila hastened from place to place, from victory to victory. After scouring the South and then Umbria at the beginning of 549, he stood the third time before Rome. A strong Byzantine garrison in the city had provided magazines, and the wide spaces within the walls had been sown with wheat. His first attack failed; but treachery opened to him the Ostian gate, and its famished defenders soon surrendered the mausoleum of Hadrian. The conqueror, in this fourth capture of the city, acted mildly. He called back the yet absent inhabitants, amongst them many of the senators who had been sent into Campania. How had the nobles of Rome melted away! Vitiges had ordered those kept in Ravenna as hostages to be slain. Some had then escaped to Liguria. The distrust of the Greeks as well as of the Goths threatened them. Cethegus, chief of the senate, had been compelled to leave before the first siege of Totila. Now Totila did not succeed in coming to terms with Justinian. The Greek army received a new commander in the eunuch Narses, who had served before under Belisarius. In him skill, energy, court favour, and the command of considerable forces were united. Before the end of 549, Totila left Rome. Almost all Italy save Ravenna was in his hands. He dealt generously with the people, whilst the Byzantine officials, exhausting the land with their exactions, added to the sufferings of war.

And now we reach the fifth act of the drama in which Rome was humbled to the very dust. Totila, for more than two years and a half, carried on an unceasing struggle over land and sea -- Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, which he subdued, and beyond the Hadriatic, to the opposite coasts. Though generally victorious, he was more like the leader in an old Gothic raid than a king who ruled and defended a great realm. At last, in the spring of 552, Narses advanced from Ravenna with a great force to a decisive battle for Rome. Totila advanced from Rome into Tuscany to meet him. At Taginas, on the longest day, the conflict which decided the fate of the Gothic kingdom took place. All that summer day the battle lasted. The Gothic king, a true knight in royal armour, on a splendid steed, marshalled and led his host. When night had come his cavalry was overthrown, his footmen broken. The spear of a Gepid had wounded him mortally. He was taken from the field, died in the night, was hastily buried. But his grave was disclosed to the Greeks. They left him where he lay; only his blood-stained mantle and diadem set with precious stones were carried to Constantinople. Six thousand of his bravest warriors lay on the field of battle. Yet when the remains of the host collected themselves in Upper Italy they elected Teia in Pavia for head of the yet unconquered race.

But Narses, having captured the strong places in Middle Italy, advanced upon Rome. The Gothic garrison was too weak to defend the wide circuits of the walls. Parts were soon taken. Presently Hadrian's tomb, which Totila had surrounded with fresh walls, alone held out. But it soon fell, and hapless Rome was captured for the fifth time in the reign of Justinian. It was a day of doom for the still remaining noble families. Goths and Greeks alike turned against them. In Campania and in Sicily many distinguished Romans had waited for better times. Now not only the flying Goths cut down all who fell into their hands, but the barbarian troops in the army of Narses, at their entrance into Rome, followed the example. Then, again, three hundred youths of the noblest families, who had been kept as hostages at Pavia, were all executed by Teia. The western consulate ended in 534, Flavius Theodorus Paulinus being the last. It continued seven years longer in the East, where to Flavius Basilius, consul in 541, no successor was given. When Justinian abolished this dignity it had lasted 1050 years, with few interruptions. Though for more than half this time it had been a mere title of honour, yet the consuls gave their name to the year, and served still, it may be, to mark to the world the unity of the Roman empire.

From Rome the conqueror Narses turned his steps southwards to Cumae, that he might seize the treasure of the Goths, which was guarded by the new king Teia's brother Aligern. This brought Teia himself by a rapid march down the Hadriatic coast, and crossing Italy obliquely, he appeared at the foot of Vesuvius. There, in the spring of 553, Teia fought a last and desperate battle over the grave of sunken cities, in view of the Gulf of Naples. At the head of a small host, he fought from early morn to noon. It was like a battle of Homeric warriors. Then he could no longer support the weight of twelve lances in his shield, and, calling to his armour-bearer for a fresh shield, he fell transfixed by a lance. The next day the remnant of the army, save a thousand who fought their way through and reached Pavia, accepted terms from Narses, to leave Italy and fight no more against the emperor.

But Italy was far yet from tranquillity. Teia had incited the Alemans and the Franks to break into Italy. The two brothers, Leuthar and Bucelin, led a raid of 70,000 men, who ravaged Central and Southern Italy down to the Straits of Sicily. One of these barbarians carried back his spoil-laden troops to the Po, where pestilence consumed him and his horde. The host of the other brother, Bucelin, when it had reached Capua, was overthrown on the Vulturnus by Narses, with a slaughter as utter as that which Marius inflicted on the Cimbri. Scarcely five are said to have escaped. So, in the spring of 555, after twenty years of destruction, ended the Gothic war.[138]

The reconquest of North Africa from the Vandals cost Justinian a few months of uninterrupted victory. The reconquest of Italy from the Goths cost twenty years of suffering to both sides, leaving, indeed, Justinian master but of a ruined Italy, master also of Rome, but after five successive captures; its senate reduced to a shadow, its patricians all but destroyed, its population shrunk, it is supposed, when Narses took possession of it in 552, to between thirty and forty thousand impoverished inhabitants. But the greatest change remains to be recorded. The Pope had indeed been delivered from Arian sovereigns, who held the country under military occupation, but exercised their civil rule with leniency and consideration, bearing, no doubt, in mind that they were, at least in theory, vice-gerents of an over-lord who ruled at Constantinople what was still the greatest empire of the world. What Pope Gelasius truly called "hostile domination" had been tempered during three-and-thirty years by the personal qualities of one who was at once powerful in arms and wise in statesmanship. Rome, in the time of Theodorick and Athalarick, had been maintained, its senate respected, the Pope treated with deference. A stranger entering Rome in 535, at the beginning of the Gothic war, would still have seen the greatest and grandest city of the world, standing in general with its buildings unimpaired. In 552, the Pope, instead of a distant over-lord, to whom he could appeal as Roman prince, had received an immediate master, who ruled Rome by a governor with a permanent garrison, and who understood his rule at Rome to be the same as his rule at Byzantium. The same as to its absolute power; but with this difference, that while Byzantium was the seat of his imperial dignity, in which every interest touched his personal credit, and its bishop was to be supported as the chief officer of his court and the chief councillor of his administration, the Rome he took from the Goths was simply a provincial town of a recovered province, once indeed illustrious, but now ruined and very troublesome. A provincial town because the seat of Byzantine power in Italy was henceforth not at Rome but at Ravenna, while the sovereign of Italy no longer held his court within Italy, at Ravenna or at Verona, as Theodorick and Athalarick, but at Constantinople. Mature reflection upon the civil condition made for the Pope by the result of the Gothic war will, I think, show that no severer test of the foundation of his spiritual authority could be applied than what this great event brought in its train. Nor must we omit to note that this test was brought about not only by the operation of political causes, but by actors who had not the intention of producing such a result. The suffering of Rome, in particular, during this war at the hands of Vitiges, Belisarius, Totila, Teia, Narses, is indescribable. It is hard to say whether defender or assailant did it most injury; but it is true to say that the one and the other were equally merciless in their purpose to retain it as a prey or to recover it as a conquest. Vitiges, besides pressing the people cooped up in its walls with a terrible famine during his siege of a year, broke down its aqueducts and ruined every building on that part of the Campagna which he scoured. Totila, in like manner, after famishing the inhabitants, when he took Rome, broke down a good part of its walls, and at his second capture, in 546, the city is described as having been absolutely deserted. In the last struggle, Teia slew without pity the three hundred hostages of Rome's noblest blood who had been sent to Pavia, thereby almost destroying its patricians. These were the parting tokens of Gothic affection for Italy. Then Belisarius, attempting to relieve Rome with inadequate forces, which was all that the penury of Justinian allowed him, was the means of prolonging the famine, while he did not save the city from capture. Lastly, Narses, sent to finish the war, enrolled in Dalmatia an army of adventurers. Huns, Lombards, Herules, Gepids, Greeks, and even Persians, in figure, language, arms, and customs utterly dissimilar, fought for him under the imperial standard, greedy for the treasures of Italy. Narses took Rome in 552, and governed it as imperial prefect for fifteen years at the head of a Greek garrison, until he was recalled in 567. That occupation of Narses in 552 is the date of Rome's extinction as the old secular imperial city. The year after his recal came the worst plague of all, and the most enduring. The Lombards did but repeat for the subjection of Italy to a fresh northern invasion what Narses had done to deliver it from Theodorick's older one in the preceding century.

Now let us see the nature of the test which this course of events, the work of Goth and Greek alike -- inflicting great misery and danger on the clergy and the Pope, as upon their people -- applied to the papal authority itself.

A more emphatic attestation of that authority than the confession given in 519 to Pope Hormisdas by the whole Greek episcopate, and by the emperor at the head of his court, could hardly be drawn up. It settled for ever the question of right, and estopped Byzantium, whether in the person of Caesar or of patriarch, from denial of the Pope's universal pastorship, as derived from St. Peter. We have seen that not only did Justinian, when the leading spirit in his uncle's freshly-acquired succession to the eastern empire, do his utmost to bring about this confession, but that in the first years of his reign his letter to Pope John II. reaffirmed it; and his treatment of Pope Agapetus when he appeared at Constantinople, not only as Pope, but in the character of ambassador from the Gothic king Theodatus, exhibited that belief in action. But now a state of things quite unknown before had ensued. Hitherto Rome had been the capital, of which even Constantine's Nova Roma was but the pale imitation. But the five times captured, desolate, impoverished Rome which came back under Narses to Justinian's sway, came back not as a capital, but as a captive governed by an exarch. Was the bishop of a city with its senate extinct, its patriciate destroyed, and with forty thousand returned refugees for its inhabitants, still the bearer of Peter's keys -- still the Rock on which the City of God rested? Had there been one particle of truth in that 28th canon which a certain party attempted to pass at the Council of Chalcedon, and which St. Leo peremptorily annulled, a negative answer to this must now have followed. That canon asserted "that the Fathers justly gave its prerogatives to the see of the elder Rome because that was the imperial city". Rome had ceased to be the imperial city. Did the loss of its bishop's prerogatives follow? Did they pass to Byzantium because it was become the imperial city, because the sole emperor dwelt there? Thus, about a hundred years after the repulse of the ambitious exaltation sought by Anatolius, its rejection by the provident wisdom and resolute courage of St. Leo was more than justified by the course of events. St. Leo's action was based upon the constitution of the Church, and therefore did not need to be justified by events. But the Divine Providence superadded this justification, and that under circumstances which had had no parallel in the preceding five hundred years.

For when Belisarius, submitting himself to carry out the orders of an imperious mistress, deposed, as we have seen, the legitimate Pope Silverius by force in March, 537, Vigilius, in virtue of the same force, was consecrated a few days after to succeed him. The exact time of the death which Pope Silverius suffered in Palmaria is not known. But Vigilius is not recognised as lawful Pope until after his death, probably in 540. He then ascended St. Peter's seat with a blot upon him such as no pontiff had suffered before. And this pontificate lasted about fifteen years, and was full of such humiliation as St. Peter had never suffered before in his successors.

We are not acquainted with the detail of events at Rome in those terrible years, but we learn that, as Pope John I. was sent to Constantinople as a subject by Theodorick, and Pope Agapetus again as a subject by Theodatus, so Vigilius was urged by Justinian to go thither, and that after many delays he obeyed the emperor very unwillingly.

But it is requisite here to give a short summary of what Justinian had been doing in the affairs of the eastern Church from the time that Pope Agapetus, having consecrated Mennas to be bishop of Constantinople, died there in 536. After the Pope's death, Mennas proceeded to hold in May and June of that year a synod in which he declared Anthimus to be entirely deposed from the episcopal dignity, and condemned Severus and other leaders of the Monophysites. In this synod Mennas presided, and the two Roman deacons, Vigilius and Pelagius, who had been the legates of Pope Agapetus, but whose powers had expired at his death, sat next to him, but only as Italian bishops. How little the patriarch Mennas could there represent the Church's independence is shown by his words to the bishops in the fourth session: "Your charity knows that nothing of what is mooted in the Church should take place contrary to the decision and order of our emperor, zealous for the faith," while of their relation to the Pope he said: "You know that we follow and obey the Apostolic See; those who are in communion with it we hold in communion; those whom it condemns we also condemn".[139] Justinian, irritated by the boldness of the Monophysites, added the sanction of law to the decrees of this council, which deposed men who had occupied patriarchal sees. He used these words: "In the present law we are doing an act not unusual to the empire. For as often as an episcopal decree has deposed from their sacerdotal seats those unworthy of the priesthood, such as Nestorius, Eutyches, Arius, Macedonius, and Eunomius, and others in wickedness not inferior to them, so often the empire has agreed with the authority of the bishops. Thus the divine and the human concurred in one righteous judgment, as we know was done in the case of Anthimus of late, who was deposed from the see of this imperial city by Agapetus, of holy and renowned memory, bishop of Old Rome."[140]

In the intrigue of Theodora with Vigilius, Mennas took no part. He took counsel with the emperor how to maintain the Catholic faith in Alexandria against the heretical patriarch Theodosius. By the emperor's direction, ordering him to expel Theodosius, Mennas, in 537 or 538, consecrated Paul, a monk of Tabenna, to be patriarch of Alexandria. The act would appear to have been done in the presence of Pelagius, then nuncio in Constantinople, without reclamation on his part, or of the nuncios who represented Antioch and Jerusalem. Mennas in this repeated the conduct of Anatolius and Acacius in former times, who were censured, the one by St. Leo, the other by Pope Simplicius. By this event the four eastern patriarchs seemed to agree to accept the first four councils, and the unity of the Church to be quite restored, from which Alexandria had until then stood aloof; but the patriarch Paul came afterwards in suspicion of heresy and had to give way to Zoilus. Mennas was on the best terms with the emperor; he might easily have used the deposition of Silverius and the unlawful exaltation of Vigilius in 537 for increase of his own influence, had not a feeling of duty or love of peace held him back. But Vigilius also, when he came to be acknowledged, had come to realise his position and its responsibility. He was far from fulfilling the unlawful promises made to Theodora, and from favouring the Monophysites. The empress found that she had thrown away her money and failed in her intrigue. In letters[141] to the emperor and to Mennas, in 540, Vigilius declared his close adherence to the acts of his predecessors, St. Leo in particular, and to the decrees in faith of the four General Councils, while he confirmed the acts of the council held by Mennas against Severus and the other Monophysite leaders.

In the meantime new dissensions threatened to agitate the whole eastern realm.[142] The partisans of Origen in Palestine and the neighbouring countries rose. At their head stood Theodore Askidas, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Domitian, metropolitan of Ancyra, who had obtained, by favour of Justinian, these important sees. Ephrem, patriarch of Antioch about 540, condemned Origenism in a synod. Pelagius, being papal nuncio at Constantinople, had, together with Ephrem, patriarch of Antioch, condemned the patriarch Paul of Alexandria at Gaza. Deputies from Peter, patriarch of Jerusalem, and the orthodox monks journeyed with Pelagius to Constantinople, to present to the emperor an accusation against the Origenists. Pelagius had much influence with Justinian, and he and Mennas procured for the petitioners access to the emperor. They asked him to issue a solemn condemnation of Origen's errors. The emperor listened willingly, and issued in the form of a treatise to Mennas a still extant censure of Origen and his writings. He called upon the patriarchs to hold synods upon them. Mennas, in 543, held one in the capital, which issued fifteen anathemas against Origen.[143] Theodore Askidas and Domitian, by submitting to the imperial edict and the condemnation of Origen, kept their places and secured afresh their influence, which the monks of Palestine, who were not Origenistic, felt severely. They even managed, in the interest of their party, to turn the attention of the dogmatising emperor to another question, and moved him to issue, in 544, the edict upon the Three Chapters. He thought he was bringing back the Monophysites to orthodoxy. He was really casting a new ferment into the existing agitation.

At first the patriarch Mennas was very displeased with this edict censuring in the so-called Three Chapters Theodoret, Ibas, and Theodore of Mopsuestia as Nestorians. He considered the credit of the Council of Chalcedon to be therein impeached, and declared that he would only subscribe to it after the Pope had subscribed. Afterwards, being more strongly pressed, he subscribed unwillingly, but with the reservation, confirmed to him even upon oath, that if the Bishop of Rome refused his assent his signature should be returned to him, and his subscription be regarded as withdrawn. The other eastern patriarchs also at first resisted, but finished by complying with the imperial threats, as particularly Ephrem of Antioch. Most of the bishops, accustomed to slavish subjection to their patriarchs, followed their example, and Mennas had to urge the bishops under him by every means to comply. However, many bishops complained of this pressure to the papal legate Stephen, who pronounced against the edict, which seemed indirectly to impeach the authority of the Fourth Council. He even refused communion with Mennas because he had broken his first promise and given his assent before the Pope had decided upon it. Through the whole West the writings of Theodore, Theodoret, and Ibas were little known, but the decrees of Chalcedon were zealously maintained. The edict was refused, especially in Northern Africa. It was censured by the bishop Portian in a writing addressed to the emperor, and by the learned deacon Ferrandus.

Means had been taken by fraud and force to win the whole East to consent to the edict.[144] Mennas, patriarch of Constantinople; Ephrem, patriarch of Antioch; Peter, patriarch of Jerusalem, crouched before the tyranny of Justinian; and so also Zoilus of Alexandria, though he promised Vigilius that he would not sign the edict, afterwards subscribed it.[145] At this point Justinian sought before everything to get the assent of the Pope, and he sent for Vigilius to Constantinople. He claimed the presence of Vigilius as his subject in virtue of the conquest of Belisarius: he meant to use this authority of Vigilius as Pope for his own purpose. Vigilius foresaw the difficulties into which he would fall. At length he left Rome in 544, before Totila began the second siege. He lingered in Sicily a year, in 546; he then travelled through Greece and Illyricum. At last he entered Byzantium on the 25th January, 547, and was welcomed with the most brilliant reception. Justinian humbly besought his blessing, and embraced him with tears. But this good understanding did not last long. Vigilius approved the conduct of his legates and refused his communion to Mennas, who, in signing the formula of Hormisdas, had bound himself to follow the Roman See, and had broken his special promise. Vigilius withdrew it also from the bishops who had subscribed the imperial edict. He and the bishops attending him saw in this edict a scheme to help the Acephali, upon whom Vigilius repeated his anathema. But Mennas feared the emperor much more than he feared the Pope, whose name he now removed from commemoration at the Mass. Vigilius, like the westerns in general, considered the edict to be useless and dangerous, as giving a pretext for seeming to abrogate the Council of Chalcedon, and also as a claim on the part of the emperor to the highest authority in Church matters. Justinian tried repeatedly his personal influence with the Pope, that also of bishops and officers of State. He even had him watched for a length of time and cut off from all approach, so that the Pope exclaimed, "If you have made me a prisoner, you cannot imprison the holy Apostle Peter". Yet the intercourse of Vigilius with eastern bishops soon convinced him that they were generally agreed with the emperor; that a prolonged resistance on his part would produce a new division between Greeks and Latins; that considerable grounds existed for the condemnation of the Three Chapters, with which, hitherto, he had not been well acquainted. So he allowed the subject to be further considered, held out a prospect of agreeing with the emperor, and readmitted Mennas to his communion, who restored the Pope's name in the liturgy. This reconciliation took place on the feast of the Princes of the Apostles, 29th June, 547.

The Pope, after further conferences with bishops present at Constantinople, seventy of whom had not signed the imperial edict, issued, on the 11th April, 548, his Judgment, directed to Mennas, of which all but fragments are lost. In it he most strongly maintained the authority of the four General Councils, especially of the fourth; put under anathema the godless writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and also his person; the letter said to be written by Ibas to Maris, which Justinian had marked as supposititious, and the writings of Theodoret, which impugned orthodoxy and the twelve anathemas of Cyril. It was his purpose to quiet excitement, satisfying the Greeks by a specific condemnation of the Three Chapters, and the Latins by maintaining the rank of the Council of Chalcedon. And he required that therewith the strife should cease. But neither side accepted the condition. The westerns, especially Dacius, archbishop of Milan, and Facundus, bishop of Hermiane, vehemently attacked his Judgment. So did many African monks. Even two Roman deacons, the Pope's own nephew Rusticus, and Sebastianus, though they began by supporting the Judgment, became very violent against the Pope, spread the most injurious reports against him, and disregarded his warnings. He deposed and excommunicated them. False reports were spread that, against the Council of Chalcedon, the Pope had condemned the persons of Theodoret and Ibas, and had gone against the decrees of his predecessors. The Pope, after the death of the empress Theodora, on the 28th June, 548, had continued by the emperor's wish at Constantinople, especially since Totila had retaken Rome in 549. He had gone to Thessalonica and returned; he tried in several letters to the bishops of Scythia and Gaul to correct their misconceptions. These, however, prevailed with the bishops of Illyria, Dalmatia, and Africa, who in 549 and 550 separated themselves from the communion of Vigilius. A thing not heard of before now occurred. The Roman Bishop stood with the Greek bishops on one side, the Latin bishops on the other, and the bewilderment increased from day to day.

In the summer of 550 the Pope and the emperor came to an agreement that a General Council should be held at which the western bishops should be present, until which all dispute about the Three Chapters, and any fresh step on the subject, should be forbidden, and in the meantime the Pope's Judgment should be returned to him. That took place at once, and preparations were made for the council. In June a council held at Mopsuestia by direction of the emperor declared that from the time of human memory the name of its former bishop, Theodore, had been erased from commemoration, and the name of St. Cyril put in. But the western bishops avoided answering the invitation to the council. The Illyrian did not come at all; the African sent as deputies Reparatus, the primate of Carthage, Firmus of Numidia, and two Byzacene bishops. These were besieged both with threats and presents; two were induced to sign the imperial edict; the other two were banished, Reparatus under charge of a political crime. While the western bishops showed still less inclination to appear, the court broke its agreement with Vigilius. A new writing against the Three Chapters was read in the palace before several bishops, and subscribed by them. Theodore Askidas, the chief contriver, and his companions, excused themselves to the Pope, who called them to account, and begged pardon, but spread the writing still more, set the emperor against Vigilius, and induced him to publish, in 551, a further edict under the name of a confession of faith. It contained, together with a detailed exposition of doctrine upon the Trinity and Incarnation, thirteen anathemas, with the refutation of different objections made by the defenders of the Three Chapters; for instance, that the letter of Ibas had been approved at Chalcedon, the condemnation of dead men forbidden, and Theodore of Mopsuestia been praised by orthodox Fathers.

The restoration of peace was thus made much more difficult, and the promise given to the Pope broken. The Pope protected himself against this violation of the agreement, by which nothing was to be done in the matter before the intended council, and considered himself released from his engagements. He saw herein the arbitrary interference of a despotic ruler anticipating the council's decision, which put in question the Church's whole right of authority, and much increased the danger of a schism. In an assembly of Greek and Latin bishops held in the Placidia palace, where he resided, he desired them to request the emperor to withdraw the proposed edict, and to wait for a general consideration of the subject, and especially for the sentence of the Latin bishops. If this was not granted, to refuse their subscription to the edict. Moreover, the See of Peter would excommunicate them. Dacius, also, archbishop of Milan, spoke in this sense. But the protest was disregarded, and Theodore Askidas, who had formed part of the assembly, went with the bishops of his party to the Church in which the edict was posted up, held solemn service there, struck out of the diptychs the patriarch Zoilus of Alexandria, who declined to condemn the Three Chapters, and proclaimed at once Apollinaris for his successor, with the consent of the weak Mennas, and in contempt of the Pope's authority. Not only now were the Three Chapters in question, but the whole right and independence of the Church's authority. Vigilius, having long warned the vain court-bishop Theodore Askidas, always a non-resident in his diocese, and having now been witness of a violence so unprecedented, put him under excommunication.

At this resistance Justinian was greatly embittered, and was inclined to imprison the Pope and his attendants. The Pope took refuge in the Church of St. Peter, by the palace of Hormisdas. He repeated with greater force his former declaration, entirely deprived Theodore Askidas, and put Mennas and his companions under ban, until they made satisfaction, on the 14th August, 551. At least the sentence was kept ready for publication. He was attended by eleven Italian and two African bishops. The emperor sent the praetor with soldiers to remove him by force. Vigilius clung to the altar, so that it was nearly pulled down with him. His imprisonment was prevented by the crowd which burst in, indignant at the ill-treatment offered to the Church's first bishop, and by the disgust of the soldiers at the gaol-work put upon them. The emperor, seeming to repent his hastiness, sent high officers of State to assure the Pope of personal security, at first with the threat to have him removed by force if he was not content with this; then he empowered the officers to swear that no ill should befal him. The Pope thereon returned to the palace of Placidia. But there, in spite of oaths, he was watched, deprived of his true servants, surrounded with paid spies, attacked with every sort of intrigue, even his handwriting forged. Then, seeing his palace entirely surrounded by suspicious persons, he risked, on the 23rd December, 551, a flight across the Bosphorus to the Church of St. Euphemia in Chalcedon, in which the Fourth Council had been held. Here, in January, 552, he published his decree against Theodore and Mennas, and was for a long time sick. When the emperor, with the offer of another oath, sent high officials to invite him to return to the capital, he replied that he needed no fresh oaths if the emperor had only the will to restore to the Church the peace which she enjoyed under his uncle Justin. He desired the emperor to avoid communion with those who lay under his ban. In his Encyclical of the 5th February, 552, he made known to all the Church what had passed, and expressed his belief and his wishes. Even in his humiliation the successor of Peter inspired a great veneration. They tried to approach him. He soon received a writing from Theodore Askidas, Mennas, Andrew, archbishop of Ephesus, and other bishops, in which they declared their adherence to the decrees of the four General Councils which had been made in agreement with the legates of the Apostolic See, as well as to the papal letters. They consented also to the withdrawal of all that had been written on the Three Chapters, and besought the Pope to pardon as well their intercourse with those who lay under his ban as the offences committed against him, in which also they claimed to have had no part. So things were brought to the condition in which they were before the appearance of the last imperial edict. Vigilius now returned from Chalcedon to Constantinople.

Mennas, who died in August, 552, was succeeded by Eutychius. He addressed himself to the Pope on the 6th January, 553, whose name had been restored by Mennas to the first place in the diptychs. Eutychius presented his confession of faith. He also proposed that a decision, in respect of the Three Chapters in accordance with the four General Councils, should be made in a meeting of bishops under the Pope's presidency. Apollinaris of Alexandria, Domnus of Antioch, Elias of Thessalonica, and other bishops subscribed this request. The Pope, in his reply of the 8th January, praised their zeal, and accepted the proposition of a council which he had before approved. Negotiations then began about its management. Here the emperor resisted the Pope's proposals in many points. He would not have the council held in Italy or Sicily, as the Pope desired, nor carry out his own proposal to summon such western bishops as the Pope named. He proposed further that an equal number of bishops should be consulted on both sides; hinting, moreover, that an equal number should be drawn from each patriarchate, while Vigilius meant an equal number from the East and the West, which he thought necessary to bring about a successful result. At last the emperor caused the council actually to meet on the 5th May, 553, under the presidency of Eutychius, with 151 bishops, among whom only six from Africa represented the West, against the Pope's will, in the secretarium of the chief church of Constantinople. First was read an imperial writing of much detail, which entered into the previous negotiations with Vigilius; then the correspondence between Eutychius and the Pope. It was resolved to invite him again. Vigilius refused to take part in the council, first on account of the excessive number of eastern bishops and the absence of most western; then of the disregard shown to his wishes. Further, he sought to preserve himself from compulsion, and maintain his decision in freedom. He had reason to fear the infringement of his dignity. Moreover, no one of his predecessors had taken personally a part in eastern councils, and Pope Celestine had forbidden his legates to enter into discussion with bishops, and appear as a party. The Pope maintained his refusal not only to the high officers of the emperor, but to an embassy from the council, at the head of which stood three eastern patriarchs. This he did, being the emperor's subject; being also in the power of an emperor who was able to appear to the eastern bishops almost the head of the Church, and to sway them as he pleased. The Pope would only declare himself ready to give his judgment apart. An account of this unsuccessful invitation was given in the council's second session of the 8th May. The western bishops still in the capital were invited to attend, but several declined, because the Pope took no part. At the third session, of the 9th May, after reading the former protocols, a confession of faith entirely agreeing with the imperial document communicated four days before was drawn up, and a special treatment of the Three Chapters ordered for another day. At the fourth session, seventy-one heretical or offensive propositions of Theodore of Mopsuestia were read and condemned. In the fifth, the opposition made to him by St. Cyril and others was considered, as well as the question whether it is allowable to anathematise after their death men who have died in the Church's communion. This was affirmed according to previous examples, and testimony from Augustine, Cyril, and others. Theodoret's writings against Cyril were also anathematised. In the sixth session, the same was done with the letter of Ibas. In the seventh session, several documents sent by the emperor were read, specially letters of Pope Vigilius up to 550, and a letter from the emperor Justin to his prefect Hypatius, in 520, forbidding that a feast to Theodore or to Theodoret should any longer be kept in the city of Cyrus. The imperial commissioner informed the council, likewise, that the Pope had sent by the sub-deacon Servusdei a letter to the emperor, which the emperor had not received, and therefore not communicated to the council. The longer Latin text of the acts also says that the emperor had commanded the Pope's name to be erased from the diptychs, without prejudice, however, to communion with the Apostolic See, which the council accepted. It held its last sitting on the 2nd June, 553, and issued fourteen anathemas in accordance with the thirteen of Justinian. There were then present 165 bishops.

The document brought to the emperor by the sub-deacon in the Pope's name, but rejected, must be what has come down to us as the Constitution of the 14th May. It had the subscription of Vigilius, of sixteen bishops -- nine Italian, three Asiatic, two Illyrian, and two African -- with three Roman clergy. It decidedly rejected sixty propositions drawn from the writings of Theodore; anathematised five errors as to the Person of Christ; forbade the condemnation of Theodore's person, and of the two other Chapters. If this document was really drawn up by Vigilius, who had persisted during almost six years, as the emperor admitted, in condemning the Three Chapters, it must be explained by the Pope finding his especial difficulty in the manner of terminating the matter, so that the western bishops should be entirely satisfied that the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon remained inviolate; that he purposed only to condemn errors, but spare persons; that he wished to set his refusal against the pressure of the changeable emperor and the blind submission of the Grecian bishops, without surrendering any point of faith. Many irregularities appeared in what preceded the council and took place in it. Justinian's conduct was dishonouring to the Church, and he used force to get the decrees of the Council accepted. At last Vigilius, who seems with other bishops to have been banished, gave way to the pressure, and issued a decided condemnation of the Three Chapters, in a writing to Eutychius of 8th December, 553; and in a Constitution dated 23rd February, 554, he made no mention of the council, but gave his own decision in accordance with it, and independent of it, as he had before intended. Only by degrees the council held by Eutychius obtained the name of the Fifth General Council.

In August, 554, the Pope was again on good terms with the emperor, who issued at his request the Pragmatic Sanction for Italy. Then Vigilius set out to return to Rome, but died on his way at Syracuse in the beginning of 555. He had spent seven years in the Greek capital, in a position more difficult than had ever before occurred; ignorant himself of the language; struggling to his utmost to meet the dangers which assaulted the Church from every side. Now one and now another seemed to threaten the greater evil. He never wavered in the question of faith itself, but often as to what it was opportune to do: as whether it was advisable or necessary to condemn persons and writings which the Council of Chalcedon had spared: whether to issue a judgment which would be looked upon by the Monophysites as a triumph of their cause: which for the same reason would be utterly detested by most westerns, as a supposed surrender of the Council of Chalcedon; which, instead of closing the old divisions, might create new. Subsequent times showed the correctness of his solicitude.[146]

The patriarch Eutychius who presided at this council by the emperor's order, without the Pope, was held in great consideration by Justinian, and was consulted in his most important affairs. When Justinian had restored with the greatest splendour the still existing Church of Santa Sophia, Eutychius consecrated it in his presence on the 24th December, 563. Justinian then allotted to the service of the cathedral 60 priests, 100 deacons, 90 sub-deacons, 110 lectors, 120 singers, 100 ostiarii, and 40 deaconesses, a number which much increased between Justinian and Heraclius.

Justinian in his last years was minded to sanction by a formal decree a special doctrine which, after long resisting the Eutycheans, he had taken from them. It was that the Body of Christ was from the beginning incorruptible, and incapable of any change. He willed that all his bishops should set their hands to this decree. Eutychius was one of the first to resist. On the 22nd January, 565, he was taken by force from his cathedral to a monastery; he refused to appear before a resident council called by the emperor, which deposed him, and appointed a successor. He was banished to Amasea, where he died, twelve years afterwards, in the monastery which he had formerly governed.[147]

But Justinian had become again, by the conquest of Narses, lord of Rome and Italy, and as such, in the year 554, issued at the request of Vigilius his Pragmatic Sanction. In Italy the struggle was at an end; the land was a desert. Flourishing cities had become heaps of smoking ruins. Milan had been destroyed. Three hundred thousand are said to have perished there. Before the recal of Belisarius, fifty thousand had died of hunger in the march of Ancona. Such facts give a notion of Rome's condition. In 554, Narses returned, and his victorious host entered, laden with booty, crowned with laurels. It was his task to maintain a regular government, which he did with the title of Patricius and Commander.[148] The Pragmatic Sanction was intended to establish a new political order of things in Italy, which was reunited to the empire. The two supreme officials of the Italian province were the Exarch and the Prefect. The title of Exarch then came up, and continued to the end of the Greek dominion in Italy. He united in himself the military and civil authority; but for the exercise of the latter the Prefect stood at his side as the first civil officer. Obedience to the whole body of legislation, as codified by Justinian's order, was enacted. For the rest the provisions of Constantine were followed. The administration of justice was in the hands of provincial judges, whom the bishops and the nobility chose from the ranks of the latter. It was then the bishops began to take part in the courts of justice of their own cities, as well in the choice and nomination of the officers as in their supervision.[149] The words Roman commonwealth, Roman emperor, Roman army, were heard again. But no word was said of restoring a western emperor. Rome retained only an ideal precedence; Constantinople was the seat of empire. Rome received a permanent garrison, and had to share with Ravenna, where the heads of the Italian government soon permanently resided. Justinian's constitution found existing the mere shadow of a senate. The prefect of the city governed at Rome. There is mention made of a salary given to professors of Grammar and Rhetoric,[150] to physicians and lawyers; but it is doubtful whether this ever came into effect. The Gothic war[151] seems to have destroyed the great public libraries of Rome, the Palatine and Ulpian, as well as the private libraries of princely palaces, such as Boethius and Symmachus possessed. And in all Italy the war of extermination between Goths and Greeks swallowed up the costly treasures of ancient literature, save such remnant as the Benedictine monasteries were able to collect and preserve.[152] No building of Justinian's in Rome is known. All his work of this kind was given to Ravenna. From this time forth every new building in Rome is due to the Popes.

Small reason had the Popes to rejoice that the rule of an orthodox emperor had followed at Rome that of an Arian king. Three months after the death of Vigilius at Syracuse Justinian caused the deacon Pelagius to be elected: he had difficulty in obtaining his recognition until he had cleared himself by oath in St. Peter's of an accusation that he had hastened his predecessor's death. The confirmation of the Pope's election remained with the emperor. This permanent fetter came upon the Popes from the interference of Odoacer the Herule in 484. After Justinian's death, the Romans sent an embassy to his successor complaining that their lot had been more endurable under the dominion of barbarians than under the Greeks.

When Narses,[153] re-entering Rome, celebrated a triple triumph over the expulsion of barbarians from Italy, the reunion of the empire, and the Church's victory over the Arians, a contemporary historian writes that the mind of man had not power enough to conceive so many reverses of fortune, such destruction of cities, such a flight of men, such a murdering of peoples, much less to describe them in words. Italy was strewn with ruins and dead bodies from the Alps to Tarentum. Famine and pestilence, following on the steps of war, had reduced whole districts to desolation. Procopius compares the reckoning of losses to that of reckoning the sands of the sea. A sober estimate computes that one-third of the population perished, and the ancient form of life in Rome and in all Italy was extinct for ever.

But before we make an estimate of Justinian's whole action and character and their result, a subject on which we have scarcely touched has to be carefully weighed.

What was the relation between the Two Powers conceived in the mind of Justinian, expressed in his legislation, carried out in his conduct, whether to the Roman Primate or the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople in his own eastern empire, or to the whole Church when assembled in council, as at Constantinople in 553? Was he merely carrying on as emperor a relation which he had inherited from so many predecessors, beginning with Constantine, or did he by his own laws and conduct alter an equilibrium before existing, and impair a definite and lawful union by transgressing the boundaries which made it the co-operation of Two Powers.

If we look back just a hundred years before his Digest appeared, we find, in the great deed[154] in which the emperors Theodosius II. and Valentinian III. convoked the Council of Ephesus, the charge which they considered to be laid upon the imperial power to maintain that union of the natural and the spiritual government on which, as on a joint foundation, the Roman State, in the judgment of its rulers, was itself built. Some of the words they use are: "We are the ministers of Providence for the advancement of the commonwealth, while, inasmuch as we represent the whole body of our subjects, we protect them at once in a right belief and in a civil polity corresponding with it".

This first and all-embracing principle of protecting all and every power which existed in the commonwealth, and maintaining it in due position, was most firmly held by Justinian. As to his own imperial authority and the basis on which it rested, he says: "Ever bearing in mind whatever regards the advantage and the honour of the commonwealth which God has entrusted to our hands, we seek to bring it to effect".[155] As to the Two Powers themselves, he recognises them thus: "The greatest gifts of God to men bestowed by the divine mercy are the priesthood and the empire; the former ministering in divine things, the latter presiding over human things, and exerting its diligence therein. Both, proceeding from one and the same principle, are the ornament of human life. Therefore nothing will be so great a care to emperors as the upright conduct of bishops, for, indeed, bishops are ever supplicating God for emperors. But if what concerns them be entirely blameless and full of confidence in God, and if the imperial power rightly and duly adorn the commonwealth entrusted to it, an admirable agreement will ensue, conferring on the human race all that is for its good. We then bear the greatest solicitude for the genuine divine doctrine, and for the upright conduct of bishops, which we trust, when that doctrine is maintained, because through it we shall obtain the greatest gifts from God,[156] shall be secure in the possession of those which we have, and shall acquire those which have not yet come. But all will be done well and fittingly if the beginning from which it springs be becoming and dear to God. And this we are confident will be, provided the observance of the holy canons be maintained, such as the Apostles, so justly praised and worshipped, those eye-witnesses and ministers of God the Word, have delivered down to us, and the holy Fathers have maintained and carried out."[157] And he proceeds to give the force of civil law to the canons concerning the election of bishops and other matters.

In another law he says, "Be it therefore enacted[158] that the force of law be given to the holy canons of the Church which have been set forth or confirmed by the four holy Councils; that is, by the 318 holy Fathers in the Nicene, by the 150 in that of Constantinople, by the first of Ephesus, in which Nestorius was condemned, and by Chalcedon, when Eutyches, together with Nestorius, was put under anathema. For we accept the decrees of these four synods as the Holy Scriptures, and observe their canons as laws.

"And, therefore, be it enacted according to their definitions that the most holy Pope of Old Rome is the first of all bishops, and that the most blessed archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, holds the second place after the holy Apostolic See of Old Rome, but takes precedence of all other bishops."

In the laws just quoted we see three of the most important principles which run through the acts of Justinian. The first is, that the emperor, having the whole commonwealth committed to him by God, is the guardian both of human and divine things in it, which together make up the whole commonwealth; the second is, that there are Two Powers, the human and the divine, both derived from God. The third is, that while the emperor is the direct head of all human things, he guards divine things by accepting the decrees of General Councils as the Holy Scriptures, and by giving to the canons of the Church as descending from the Apostles, "the eye-witnesses and ministers of God the Word," the force of law.

If in these laws we find Church and State greet each other as friends, and offer each other a mutual support, because both aim at one object, and what the holiness of the Church required, advanced no less the peace, the security, and the welfare of the State, so a complete concurrence between them might be shown in all other respects.[159] The State recognised and honoured the whole constitution of the Church as it had been drawn in its first lineaments by the author of the Christian religion, as in perfect sequence it had formed itself out of the Church's inmost life, and that in force and purity, because it had been free from the pressure of external laws. The proper position of the Roman bishop as supreme head of the whole Church, the relation of the patriarchs to each other, their privileges over the metropolitans, the close connection of these with their several bishops, were never for a moment unrecognised, because so clear a consciousness of these showed itself in the whole Catholic world, that no change was possible without a general scandal. Thus the laws of Church and State kept pace with each other, when it could not but happen that the ties between patriarch and metropolitan, between metropolitan and bishop, became more stringent, as external increase was followed by decline in inward life and the fervour of faith. Thus the regular course was that the metropolitan examined the election of the bishop by the clergy and people, consecrated him, introduced him to the direction of his charge, and by the litterae formatae gave him his place in the fabric of the Church. So the metropolitan was consecrated by his patriarch, in whose own election all the bishops of the province, but especially the metropolitans, took part. The metropolitan summoned his bishops, the patriarchs their metropolitans, to the yearly synods. The bishops did not vote without their metropolitan; they took counsel with him, sometimes intrusted him with their votes.[160] General laws of the Church, and also imperial edicts, were transmitted first to the patriarchs, and from them to the metropolitans, and from these to the bishops. Bishops might not leave their diocese without permission of the metropolitan, nor the metropolitan without that of the patriarch.[161]

In like manner, we find in Justinian's laws the relation of the bishop to his diocese, and especially to his clergy, recognised as we find it presented by the Church from the beginning, and as the lapse of time had more and more drawn it out. The law's recognition secured it from all attack. The idea that without the bishop there is neither altar, sacrifice, nor sacrament had become, through the spirit of unity which rules the Church, a fact visible to all. The more heresies and divisions exerted their destroying and dissolving power, while the Church went on expanding in bulk, every divine service in private houses was forbidden. Since such assemblies attacked as well the peace and security of the State as the unity of belief, the governors of provinces, as well as the bishops, had most carefully to guard against such acts. Neither in city nor country could a church, a monastery, or an oratory be raised without the bishop's permission. This was made known to all by his consecrating the appointed place in solemn procession, with prayer and singing, by elevation of the cross. Without this such building was considered a place where errors lurked and deserters took refuge.[162] In this concurrent action of the laws of Church and State respecting the relation of the bishop to the whole Church and to his own clergy, we never miss the perfect union between the two even as to the smallest particulars. The conclusion is plain that the secular power did not intend to act here on the ground of its own supremacy, or as an exercise of its own majesty. Not only did it issue no new regulations whereby any fresh order should be in the smallest degree introduced: it raised to the condition of its own laws the canons which had long obtained force in the Church, whose binding power was accepted by everyone who respected the Church, as lying in themselves and in the authority from which they proceeded. These it took simply and without addition, and by so taking recognised in them the double character. So, if they were transgressed, a double penalty ensued. The Church's punitive power is contained in its legislative, the recognition of which is an acknowledgment of the former. This the State, not only tacitly but expressly, recognised. And by taking the Church's laws, it not only did not obliterate the character and dignity of that authority, from which they had issued, but it did not change the penalty, nor consider it from another point of view. It remained what it had always been, and from its nature must be, an ecclesiastical punishment. The State only lent its arm, when that was necessary, for its execution. With this, however, it was not content. The Church's life entered too deeply into the secular life. Those who were to carry on the one and sanctify the other stood in the closest connection with the whole State. So it made the canons its own proper laws, and thus attached temporal penalties to their transgression. So we find everywhere the addition that each violation would carry with it not only the divine judgment and arm the Church's hand to punish, but likewise draw down upon it the prescribed penalties from the imperial majesty.

But so far the empire was maintaining by its secular authority the proper laws and institutions of the Church. Justinian went far beyond this.[163] His legislation associated the bishop with the count in the government of cities and provinces. It gave up to him exclusively the superintendence of morality and the protection of moral interests, the control of public works and of prisons. It bestowed on him a large jurisdiction -- even more, put under his supervision the conduct of public functionaries in their administration, and conferred on him a preponderating influence on their election. In a word, it by degrees displaced the centre of gravity in political life by investing the episcopate with a large portion of temporal attributions.

To give in detail what is here summed up would involve too large a space. A few specimens must suffice. The bishop in his own spiritual office would have a great regard for widows and orphans.[164] Parents when dying felt secure in recommending children to their protection against the avarice of secular judges. Hence the custom had arisen that bishops had to watch over the execution of wills, especially such as were made for benevolent purposes. They could in case of need call in the assistance of the governor. Their higher intelligence and disinterested character were in such general credit that they had no little influence in the drawing up of wills. But the State under Justinian was so far from regarding: this with jealousy, that he ordered, if a traveller should die without a will in an inn, the bishop of the place should take possession of the property, either to hand it over to the rightful heirs, or to employ it for pious purposes. If the innkeeper were found guilty of embezzlement, he was to pay thrice the sum to the bishop, who could apply it as he wished. No custom, privilege, or statute was allowed to have force against this. Those who opposed it were made incapable of testing. Down to the sixth century[165] we find no law of the Church touching the testamentary dispositions of Christians. Justinian is the first of whom we know that he entrusted the execution of wills specially to the supervision of bishops. That he did this shows the great trust which he placed in their uprightness.

It was to be expected that bishops should have a special care for the city which was their see.[166] Various laws of Justinian gave them here privileges in which we cannot fail to see the foundation of the later extension of episcopal authority and influence over the whole sphere of secular life. With their clergy and with the chief persons in the city, they took special part in the election of defensors and of the other city officers; so also in the appointment of provincial administrators. It was their duty to protect subjects against oppressions from soldiers and exaction of provision, as well as against all excessive claim of taxes and unlawful gifts to imperial officers. A governor on assuming the province was bound to assemble the bishop, the clergy, and the chief people of the capital, that he might lay before them the imperial nomination, and the extent of the duties which he was to fulfil. Thus they were enabled to judge on each occasion whether the representative of the emperor was fulfilling his charge. Magistrates, before entering on office, had to take the prescribed oath before the metropolitan and the chief citizens. The oath itself was an act made before God, and as such under cognisance of the bishop. But special regulations enjoined him to watch over the whole conduct and each particular act of the governor. If general complaints were made of injustice, he was to inform the emperor. If only an individual had suffered wrongs, the bishop was judge between both parties. If sentence was given against the accused, and he refused to make satisfaction, the matter came before the emperor in the last resort. The emperor, if the bishop had decided according to right, condemned his governor to death, because he who should have been the protector of others against wrong had himself committed wrong. If a governor was deposed for maladministration, he was not to quit the province before fifty days, and he could be accused before the bishop for every unjust transaction. Even if he was removed or transferred to another charge, and had left behind him a lawful substitute, the same proceeding took place before the bishop. On this account civil orders also were sent to the bishops to be publicly considered by them, and kept among the church documents, their fulfilment supervised, and violations reported to the emperor. But, to complete this picture, it must be remarked that this supervision was not one-sided. The emperor sent even his ecclesiastical regulations not only through the patriarch of Constantinople to the metropolitans, but through the Praetorian prefect to the governors of provinces. He directed them to support the bishops in their execution, but he likewise enjoined them to report neglect of them to the emperor. Especially they were to watch the execution of imperial decrees upon Church discipline, and monasteries in particular. The rules, so often repeated because so frequently broken, respecting the inalienability of Church property, were to be specially watched, and also the celebration, as prescribed, of yearly synods. But the civil magistrates were only recommended to keep a supervision, which did not extend to the right of official exhortation; far less that they were allowed in any ecclesiastical matter, in which the bishop might be at all in fault, to act upon their own authority, or receive an accusation against him from whomsoever and for whatsoever it might be. But the bishop could act in his quality of judge between a party and the governor himself, if the party had called upon him. Especially, Justinian allowed bishops a decisive influence upon legal proceedings in certain branches. The inspection of forbidden games, public buildings, roads, and bridges, the distribution of corn, was under them. They were to examine the competence of a security. The curators of insane persons took oath before them to fulfil their duty. If a father had named none, the bishop took part in the choice of them; the act was deposited among the church documents. If the children of an insane father wished to marry, the bishop had to determine the dowry and the nuptial donation. In the absence of the proper judge, the bishop of the city could receive complaints from those who had to make a legal demand on another, or to protect themselves from a pledge falling overdue. The proofs of a wrong account could, in the accountant's absence, be made before the bishop, and had legal force. If the ground-lord would not receive the ground-rent, the feoffee should consign it at Constantinople to the Praetorian prefect or the patriarch, in the provinces to the governor, or in his absence to the bishop of the city where the ground-lord who refused to receive it had his domicile. Whoever found no hearing, either in a civil or criminal matter, before the judge of the province, was directed to go to the bishop, who could either call the judge to him, or go in person to the judge, to invite him to do justice to the complainant according to the strict law, in order that the bishop might not be obliged to carry the refusal of justice by appeal to the imperial court.[167] If the judge was not moved by this, the bishop gave the complainant a statement of the whole case for the emperor, and the delinquent had to fear severe penalties, not alone because he had been untrue to his office, but because he did not allow himself, even at the demand of the bishop, to do what, without it, lay in the circle of his duties. But this referring to the bishop was not arbitrary -- that is, not one which it lay in the will of the complainant to use or not, but necessary, so that anyone who appealed to the imperial court without this endeavour incurred, whether his complaint was founded or not, the same punishment as the judge who refused to give a decision at the bishop's request. Even if the complainant only suspected the judge, he was bound to apply to the bishop to join the judge in examining the matter, and to bring it to a strict legal issue. In the face of such honourable confidence which was placed in the bishops, and which was also justified in general by a happy result, we ought not to be surprised if either the emperor himself or inferior magistrates committed to them the termination of entangled processes, in which they exercised just such a jurisdiction as may either in general be exercised by delegates, or was committed to them for the special occasion.

The emperor[168] in his legislation left no part of the Church's discipline unregarded. His purpose was in all respects to make the State Christian; and he considered no part of divine and human things, whether it were dogma or conduct, -- which, together, made up the Church's life, -- withdrawn from his care and guardianship. Observances which had begun in custom, and gradually been drawn out definitely and enacted in canons, he took into his Digest, not with the intention of giving them greater inward force or stronger grounds as duties, but to show the unity of his own effort with that of the Church. He willingly put the imperial stamp on her salutary regulations. He showed his readiness to help her with external force wherever the inviolable sanctity of her laws seemed to be threatened by the opposition of individuals. In this he recognised the unchangeable order which is so deeply rooted in the nature both of Church and State, that order which is the greatest security for the wellbeing and prosperity of both. And the Church in the course of her long life had hitherto almost universally maintained this order; always, at least, in principle. If it was anywhere transgressed, it was either because the secular power was acting under special commission and approval of the Church, or, if that power acted without such approval, it met with open contradiction whereby not only the illegality of the particular action was marked, but the principle of the Church's freedom and independence was preserved.

There is a passage in the address of the eastern bishops to Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople, quoted in the Second Nicene Council of 789,[169] the Seventh General, which cites the words of Justinian given above in one of his laws. The bishops say in their own character -- and they are bishops who describe themselves "as sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, that is, of the Arabian impiety" -- "It is the priesthood which sanctifies the empire and forms its basis; it is the empire which strengthens and supports the priesthood. Concerning these, a wise king, most blessed among holy princes, said: The greatest gift of God to men is the priestly and the imperial power, the one ordering and administering divine things, the other ruling human things by upright laws."

If we considered the principles of Justinian alone as exhibited in his legislation, without regard to his conduct, we might, like the eastern bishops, take these words as the motto of his reign and the key to his acts as legislator. Indeed, it may be said that this legislation cannot be understood except by presupposing throughout the cordiality of the alliance between the Two Powers. In the election and the lives of bishops, in the discipline of religious houses, in the strict observance of the celibate life which has been assumed with full consent of the will by clergy and by monks, the emperor is as strict in his laws as the Church in her canons. The ruler of the State, who makes laws with a single word of his own mouth, who commands all the armies of the State, who bestows all its offices, who is, in truth, the autocrat, the impersonated commonwealth, shows not a particle of jealousy towards the Church as Church. He enjoins the strict observance of her canons in the fullest conviction that the end which she aims at as Church is the end which he also desires as emperor; that the good life of her bishops and priests is essential for the good of society in general; that the perfect orthodoxy of her creed is the dearest possession, the pillar and safeguard, of his own government. Heresy and schism are, in his sight, the greatest crimes against the State, as they are the greatest sins against the Church and against God. In the course of the two hundred years from Constantine to Justinian the Roman State, as understood by the Illyrian peasant who ruled it for thirty-eight years, had intertwined itself as closely with the Catholic Church as ever it had with Cicero's "immortal gods" in the time of Augustus, or Trajan, or Decius. It was the special pride and glory of Justinian to maintain intact this alliance as the palladium of the empire. And, therefore, his legislation touched every part of the ecclesiastical government, every dogma of the Church's creed, and only on account of this alliance did the Church acquiesce in such a legislation. I suppose that no greater contradiction can ever be conceived than that which exists between the mind of Justinian and the mind which now, and for a long time, has directed the nations of Europe, so far as their governments are concerned in their attitude towards the Church of God. In Europe are nations which are nurtured upon heresy and schism, whether as the basis of the original rebellion which severed them from the communion of the Church or as the outcome of "Free-thought" in their subsequent evolution through centuries of speculation unbridled by spiritual authority; nations, again, bisected by pure infidelity, or struggling with the joint forces of heresy and infidelity which strive to overthrow constitutions originally Catholic in all their structure. In one empire alone the attitude of Constantine and Justinian towards the Church is still maintained. It is that wherein the emperor rules with an amplitude of authority such as Constantine and Justinian held, whose successor he claims to be; where, also, an imperial aide-de-camp, booted and spurred, sits at the council board of a synod called holy, and is by far the most important member of it, for nothing can pass without his sanction -- a synod which rules the bishops, being itself nothing but a ministry of the State, drawing, like the council of the empire, its jurisdiction from the emperor.

Justinian was a true successor of the great Theodosius in so far as he upheld orthodoxy, and endeavoured to unite all his subjects in one belief and one centre of unity. The greatest of the Roman emperors had for their first and chief motive, in upholding this first principle of imperial policy, the conviction that thus only they could hope to maintain the peace and security of the empire. Schism in the Church betokened rebellion in the State. In the fourth century heresy had driven the empire to the very brink of destruction. Besides this, all the populations converted from heathendom were accustomed to see a complete harmony between religion and the State, which appeared almost blent into one. Again, we must not forget that at this time the Christian religion had been lately accepted distinctly as a divine institution, and that it embraced the whole man with a plenitude of power which the indifference and division of our own times hardly allow us to conceive. Those who would realise this grasp of the Christian faith, transforming and exalting the whole being, may reach a faint perception of it by reading the great Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries -- St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Leo. They were not in danger of taking the moral corruption of an effete civilisation for the Christian faith. Again, the emperors, living in the midst of this immense intellectual and moral power -- for instance, Justinian himself practising in a court the austerities of a monastery -- recognised the confession of the same faith as the strongest band which united subjects with their prince. They thought that those who were not united with them in belief could not serve them with perfect love and fidelity. And, lastly, they hoped that their own zeal in maintaining the Church's unity unimpaired would make them worthier of the divine favour, and give success to all their undertakings. Let us take the words of Theodosius, one of the greatest and best among them, to his colleague the younger Valentinian, who up to the time of his mother Justina's death had been unjust to the Catholic cause and favoured the Arian heresy: "The imperial dignity is supported, not by arms, but by the justice of the cause. Emperors who feared God have won victories without armies, have subdued enemies and made them tributary, and have escaped all dangers. So Constantine the Great overcame the tyrant Licinius in a sea-fight. So thy father (the first Valentinian) succeeded in protecting his realm from its enemies, won mighty victories, and destroyed many barbarians. On the contrary, thy uncle Valens polluted churches by the murder of saints and the banishing of priests. Hence by guidance of Divine Providence he was besieged by the Goths, and found his death in the flames. It is true that he who has not unjustly expelled thee does not worship Christ aright. But thy perverse belief has given this opportunity to Maximus. If we do not return to Christ, how can we call upon His aid in the struggle?" The following emperors were of the same judgment: so that they attached to each decree which concerned ecclesiastical matters the motive of meriting thereby God's approval, since they not only took pains to please Him, but also led their subjects to do so. We employ, says Justinian, every care upon the holy churches, because we believe that our empire will be maintained, and the commonwealth protected by the favour of God, but likewise to save our own souls and the souls of all our subjects.

Justinian likewise would have a keen remembrance of the degradation from which his uncle had restored the empire. None knew better than he how the ignoble reigns of the usurper Basiliscus, of Zeno, and of Anastasius, by perpetual tampering with heresy and ruthless persecution of the orthodox, had well-nigh broken that empire to pieces. Had he not thrown all his energy, as the leading spirit of his uncle's realm, into that great submission to Pope Hormisdas which rendered its beginning illustrious?

Nevertheless a dark blot lies upon the name and memory of Justinian. He was not only successor of the great Theodosius in his ardent zeal for the Church's doctrine and unity, but likewise of Constantine, when he sullied his greatness and risked all the success of his former life by falling into the hands of the Nicomedian Eusebius.

The vast event by which the Christian Church had become a ruling power in the commonwealth had affected from that time forth the whole being of Church and State. Christian emperors had come to see in bishops the Fathers and Princes of such a Church, consecrated by God to that office, not appointed by men.[170] As such they had honoured them, committed to their wisdom and guidance the salvation of their own souls, and the weal itself of the commonwealth; not hindered them in the performance of their duties, not hampered them by restrictive laws. Rather they had protected them by external force from hindrance when invited thus to show their protection as heads of the State. Circumstances led them on to a more immediate entrance into the Church's special domain, and the things which happened in that domain led to this their entrance. It kept even pace with the developments and disturbances caused by heresy therein.

Christ had committed to the whole episcopate, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the task of spreading the seed of Christian doctrine over the earth, of watching its growth, of eradicating the false seed sown in night-time by the enemy. In proportion as the empire's head took part in this work, his influence on the episcopate could not but increase. If his participation was confined within its due limits, if the temporal ruler hedged the Church round from irruption of external power, if he rooted the tares out of her field only to clear her enclosure, his relation to the bishops remained merely external. But if he went on himself to lay down the limit of the Church's domain, or even if he only took an active part in such limitation; if he made himself the judge what was wheat and what was tares, in so doing he had won an influence on the bishops which did not belong to him. Then Church and State ran a danger of seeing their respective limits confused. Thus the relation of the bishops to the ruler of the State became then, and remains always, an unfailing standard of the Church's freedom and independence.

Now, striking and peremptory as the eastern submission to Pope Hormisdas was, in which Justinian, then a man of thirty-six, had taken large part; clear and unambiguous as in his legislation appears the recognition of the Two Powers, sacerdotal and imperial, which make together the joint foundation of the State, and are a necessity of its wellbeing; distinct, likewise, as is the imperial proclamation of the Pope as the first of all bishops in his laws, his letters, confirmed by his reception of the Popes Agapetus and Vigilius in his own capital city; frank and unembarrassed as his acknowledgment of St. Peter's successors, yet, when he had reached the mature age of seventy, and was lord by conquest of Rome reduced to absolute impotence, and of Italy as a subject province, his treatment of the first bishop, in the person of Vigilius, was a contradiction of his own laws as to the two domains of divine and human things. He passed beyond the limits which marked the boundaries of the two powers. He made himself the supreme judge of doctrine. He convoked a General Council without the Pope's assent; he terminated it without his sanction; he treated the Pope as a prisoner for resisting such action. It is true that St. Peter's successor -- and this with a stain upon him which no successor of St. Peter had worn before him -- escaped with St. Peter's life in him unimpaired; but so far as the action of Justinian went it was unfilial, inconsistent with his own laws, perilous in the extreme to the Church, dishonouring to the whole episcopate. The divine protection guarded Vigilius -- that Vigilius whom an imperious woman had put upon the seat of a lawful living Pope -- from sacrifice of the authority to which, on the martyrdom of his predecessor, he succeeded. He died at Syracuse, and St. Peter lived after him undiminished in the great St. Gregory. The names mean the same, the one in Latin, the other in Greek; but no successor ever took on himself the blighted name of Vigilius, while many of the greatest among the Popes have chosen for themselves the name of Gregory, and one at least of the sixteen has equalled the glory of the first.

In judging the conduct of Justinian, both in treatment of persons and in dealing with doctrine, we cannot fail to see that the imperial duty of protection passed into the imperial lust for mastery. If his treatment of Vigilius, whom he acknowledged in the clearest terms as Pope, was scandalous and cruel, still worse, if possible, was the assumption of a right to interpret and to define the Church's doctrine for the Church. The usurper Basiliscus had been the first to issue an imperial decree on doctrine. This was in favour of heresy. He was followed in this by the legitimate emperors Zeno and Anastasius, also in favour of heresy. On the contrary,[171] the edicts of Justinian were generally in conformity with the decisions of the Church: generally occasioned by bishops, often drawn up by them. But in the council called by him at Constantinople in 553, he issued decrees on doctrines which only the Church could decide. In doing this he infringed her liberty as grossly as the three whose unlawful act he was imitating. The whole effect of his reign was that State despotism in Church matters lowered the dignity of the spiritual power. The dependence of his bishops on the court became greater and greater. The emperor's will became law in the things of the Church. He persecuted Vigilius: he deposed his own patriarch Eutychius. His example, as that of the most distinguished Byzantine monarch, told with great force upon his successors, for the persecution of future Popes and the deposition of future patriarchs.

The Italy which he had won at the cost of its ruin as to temporal wellbeing was, after his death in 565, speedily lost as to its greater portion, and the Romans[172] of the East did little more for it. The Rome which he had reduced almost to a solitude, and ruled through a prefect with absolute power, escaped in the end from the most cruel and heartless despotism inflicted by a distant master on a province at once plundered and neglected. His own eastern provinces suffered terribly from barbarian inroads, and the end of the thirty-seven years' domination, which had seemed a resurrection at the beginning, showed the mighty eastern empire from day to day declining, the western bishops under the action of the Pope more and more exerting an independence which the East could not prevent, the patriarch of Constantinople more and more advancing as the agent of the imperial will in dealing with eastern bishops. What the See of St. Peter was at the end of the sixth century it remains to see in the pontificate of the first Gregory, who shares with the first Leo the double title of Great and Saint.


[115] Mansi, viii.795-99.

[116] This refers to the reunion of a great portion of the eastern Church, which had fallen a prey to the most manifold errors since the Council of Chalcedon. -- Riffel, p.543.

[117] Savigny, Geschichte des roemischen Rechts im Mittelalter, 1834, i.36. Quoted by Rump, ix.72.

[118] Ep. xi.2: Sedes illa toto orbe mirabilis licet generalis mundo sit praedita.

[119] Nov. cxxxi. c.2: thespizomen ton hagiotaton tes presbyteras Rhomes papan proton einai panton ton hiereon.... te gnome kai orthe krisei tou ekeinou sebasmiou thronou katergethesan. Nov. ix. init.: Pontificatus apicem apud eam (Romam anteriorem) esse nemo est qui dubitet. -- Photius, p.156.

[120] Translated from Photius, p.156.

[121] "Cesare fui e son Giustiniano,
Che, per voler del primo amor ch'io sento,
Dentro alle leggi trassi il troppo e il vano."
-- Paradiso, vi.10.

[122] This paragraph translated from Rump, ix.70.

[123] Rump, viii.487.

[124] Account from Rump, ix.172-4, compressed.

[125] Respondeat mens illa Sancto Spiritui serviens.

[126] Mansi, viii.808.

[127] Mansi, viii.849.

[128] See Baronius, A.D.535, sec.40; Hefele, ii.736-8; Rump, ix.174-6; Novell. xxxix. De Africana Ecclesia.

[129] Photius, i.153-4: words of Hergenroether, who quotes eastern historians, who call him megaloprepesteros anakton ton proteron ... megalourgos krator.

[130] Mansi, viii.846.

[131] Photius, i.160-2; Rump, ix.181.

[132] Photius, i.163. The words which concern the conduct of Vigilius are taken from Cardinal Hergenroether. Baronius, A.D.538, sec.5, gives from Anastasius the words of the empress, and the Pope's answer, and the following narrative.

[133] Gregorovius, i.372. See Liberatus, Breviarium, ch. xxii.

[134] Liberatus, Breviarium.

[135] Reumont, ii.49.

[136] St. Gregory, Dialogues, ii.14, 18.

[137] The following drawn from Reumont's narrative, ii.50-6.

[138] The narrative drawn from Reumont, ii.56-7; Gregorovius, i.448-9.

[139] Mansi, viii.969; Photius, i.163.

[140] Mansi, viii.1149.

[141] Mansi, ix.35-40.

[142] Narrative drawn from Photius, i.165-6, down to "Ferrandus," p.232, below.

[143] Mansi, ix.487-537.

[144] Hefele, ii.790.

[145] Hergenroether, K.G., i.344-5; Photius, i.166.

[146] Translated from Hergenroether's K.G., i., pp.345-351, from p.232, above, "at this point Justinian sought," &c., with reference also to the life of Photius.

[147] Hergenroether, Photius, i.174; Rump, K.G., ix.283.

[148] See Reumont, ii.58-62; Gregorovius, i.453-9.

[149] Reumont, 60.

[150] Gregorovius, 455.

[151] Ibid., 456.

[152] Reumont, 61.

[153] Gregorovius, 450-2.

[154] See vol. v.281.

[155] Constitutio, lxxxii.667.

[156] Honestatem quam illis obtenentibus credimus.

[157] Constitutio, vi.48.

[158] 119. De ecclesiasticis titulis, p.940. Sancimus. This word in Roman law in the time of Justinian is equivalent to the English formula, "Be it enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal and the Commons in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same". There lies in these two formulae, expressing the supreme legislative authority, a comparison between the constitution of the lower Roman empire and the medieval constitutions established everywhere by the influence of the Church under guidance of the Popes.

[159] Riffel, 611-12, translated.

[160] See Justinian, Gloss. v., directed to the patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanius. Epilogus, p 48: Haec igitur omnia sanctissimi patriarchae sub se constitutis Deo amabilibus metropolitis manifesta faciant, at illi subjectis sibi Deo amabilibus episcopis declarent, et illi monasteriis Dei sub sua ordinatione constitutis cognita faciant, quatenus per omnia Domini cultura maneat undique in eos incorrupta.

[161] Riffel, p.615, translated.

[162] Riffel, p.617.

[163] Kurth, ii.35.

[164] See Riffel, p.624.

[165] Riffel, p.625.

[166] Ibid., pp.629-35.

[167] See St. Gregory, Epis., x.51 (vol. ii.1080), where he writes to the ex-consul Leontius, in Sicily, who had beaten with rods the ex-prefect Libertinus: "Si mihi constare potuisset quia justas causas de suis rationibus haberent, et prius per epistolas vos pulsare habui; et si auditus minime fuissem, serenissimo Domino Imperatori suggererem".

[168] Riffel, p.635.

[169] Mansi, xii.1130.

[170] Riffel, 562.

[171] Photius, p.155.

[172] Photius, 173.

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